The largest part of the political dialogue today is over the containment and ultimate elimination of ISIS and other groups like ISIS. I find it scary to hear leading Republican candidates talking about carpet bombing and send large number of troops into the Middle East to resolve this problem. The Democrats seem to have a little more palatable response but still quite imperfect. Is there a perfect response? Yes, but no one knows what it is.
I think it high time we give both Afghanistan and Iraq a 30-day notice of complete removal of all our troops from their respective countries. The United States has overspent in both areas trying to bring about a peace which history shows has never existed for any extended length of time. The bottom line is, and contrary to what both major parties claim, our major interests in Iraq lie entire in its huge oil reserves and nothing else. That is simply irresponsible.
Now I am not suggesting we abandon these countries entirely, that is irresponsible. What I am suggesting is that we provide intelligence support, logistical support and air support. Both the government of Turkey and Saudi Arabia have allowed for our military presence within their boundaries and both countries are quite stable.
During last night’s Democrat debate, I heard exactly one suggestion on how to carry this war to a successful completion. It was that ground military forces fighting ISIS be made up entirely of Moslem troops. In this aspect the United States can play a key role. We can certainly train and arm such armies to a level where their success is at least likely if not probable.
The fly in the ointment is Iran. Claims have been made that Iran sponsors terrorism. President Obama has done a masterful job of getting Iran to open up its nuclear program to inspection. This has given the Middle East, and Israel in particular, a feeling of safety where nuclear arms are involved. In return, the United States has freed up here-to-fore frozen Iranian assets. I suggest that through diplomatic channels a deal can be made with Iran to further reduce existing sanctions by getting Iran to end any state sponsored terrorism which now exists. I think a partnership between Turkey and Iran could help in ending Iran’s isolation from the world by it gaining a powerful and trustworthy trading partner in the Moslem world which Turkey is.
Contrary to what many Americans believe, there are more peaceful countries in the Middle East than there are those suffering civil war and terror. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Iran, the Emirates, and Kuwait need to enter into a mutual defense coalition. Even though it is experiencing a great deal of unrest, Iraq too needs to be included. This coalition, like NATO, would help preserve the peace in the Middle East from those who would have it otherwise. I have left out Lebanon because it is fairly evenly split between Moslems and Christians, 54 to 46 respectively, and might prove unwise. That is unless the Christians of Lebanon thought it a good idea.
There is no question that many countries in the Middle East need military aid from the United States. The only question is, in what form? A unified Middle Eastern army made up entirely of Moslem soldiers make the most sense in ending the strife that region now endures. The United States will not be shirking its responsibilities to Middle Eastern countries by removing all our ground personnel from Iraq but maintaining military support through other means. Our removing ourselves may actually help bring about a regional peace much sooner than our staying there as we are.